V-rex 24" Frame Conversion?

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Byron Simms, May 24, 2003.

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  1. Byron Simms

    Byron Simms Guest

    I have a 1995 Rans V-rex with the unusual 20" (450mm) front and 24" (520mm) rear wheel
    configuration. I have enjoyed the bike thoroughly for several years now, except when it's time to
    buy tires and tubes. The 520/24" rear wheel is expecially tough to find wide tires for; the widest I
    have seen listed is 1 3/8", sold by Terry Bicycles, for a whopping $40! I am considering a long
    distance, cross-country tour next year, and am uneasy about riding unsupported with narrow,
    hard-to-find tires. My question is, has anyone else out there with this rare breed of V-Rex ever had
    the rear brake bridge cut off and moved forward, so that the frame would accomodate a 26"
    wheel/tire? I'm sure that a good frame builder or welder could do the job without too much damage to
    my custom paint job, but I just have no idea what something like this would cost.

    Anyone?

    Byron Simms 95' V-Rex Trek R 200
     
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  2. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    Byron Simms wrote:
    > I have a 1995 Rans V-rex with the unusual 20" (450mm) front and 24" (520mm) rear wheel
    > configuration. I have enjoyed the bike thoroughly for several years now, except when it's time to
    > buy tires and tubes. The 520/24" rear wheel is expecially tough to find wide tires for; the
    > widest I have seen listed is 1 3/8", sold by Terry Bicycles, for a whopping $40! I am considering
    > a long distance, cross-country tour next year, and am uneasy about riding unsupported with
    > narrow, hard-to-find tires. My question is, has anyone else out there with this rare breed of
    > V-Rex ever had the rear brake bridge cut off and moved forward, so that the frame would
    > accomodate a 26" wheel/tire? I'm sure that a good frame builder or welder could do the job
    > without too much damage to my custom paint job, but I just have no idea what something like this
    > would cost.
    >
    Bryon,

    I have a '97 V-Rex24, probably the last one ever made. Like you, I love the bike but hate buying
    tires for it. There are a few possibilities.

    1. Have an ISO 507 wheel made for it. If you have canti or V type brakes, you won't have to
    modify anything, the brakes will adjust far enough to use the new rim. This allows you to use
    the Vee Rubber
    1a1.25, AKA 'Fat Girl' (the old 24" Fat Boy.) I don't know if they're available anymore, but there
    used to be an IRC Metro in
    1a2.00, which was nearly indestructible. There is also lots of lower pressure mountain bike tires
    available for that rim, since the size is used for kids' mountain bikes.

    2. You can take the bike to your LBS and have them test-fit a 26" wheel. I know people who have done
    the conversion, and it *should* fit, although you might be limited in how fat a tire you can use.
    In this case, you might be able to use your brake bridge for a caliper brake, because it'll be
    pretty close to the tire.

    3. Keep the V-Rex just the way it is and get a Rocket for the tour. The Rocket will use BMX-standard
    406 tires front and rear, with a zillion tire choices from stupidly skinny to hugely fat. This
    option saves your valuable V-Rex the way it is, you only need to pack one spare tire, you get to
    keep the familiar RANS seat and riding position, and you get a second 'bent! :) I like this
    option because you also eliminate the problem of finding a durable 451 tire for the front.

    I am currently running a 451 front with a Stelvio 20x1-1/8, and a 507 rear with a Vee Rubber
    24x1.25. Over the winter I had the canti studs removed in favor of a disc brake mount. Any wheel
    size is possible now, from 406 to 559, so long as the wheel has a disc hub. I had a reputable frame
    builder do the work and the welding was relatively cheap (under $50 for all the work, including
    adding several cable stops/guides.) It did, however, unavoidably ruin a swath of paint on my stays,
    which is why I had the welding done *before* the frame got a beautiful new powder coat.
    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  3. Skip

    Skip Guest

    "Byron Simms" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    <snip>
    > I have a 1995 Rans V-rex with the unusual 20" (450mm) front and 24"
    (520mm)
    > rear wheel configuration.. My question is, has anyone else out there with this rare breed of V-Rex
    > ever had the rear brake bridge cut off and moved forward, so that the frame would accomodate a 26"
    > wheel/tire?

    > I'm sure that a good frame builder or welder could do the job without too much damage to my custom
    > paint job, but I just have no idea what something like this would cost.
    >
    I'm no expert on this, but welding and brazing are two different things. You will need to have the
    brake bosses brazed on. In my experience brazers are harder to find than welders, but any good frame
    shop should be able to do the job for you. If there isn't a frame shop or brazer where you live then
    you may want to consider sending the frame back to RANS. I don't think going to a 26" wheel would
    alter the handling on that model to a great degree, but I would ask RANS just the same. How much
    would it cost? I don't know, but you did mention a custom paint job. All in all it could be pricey
    and the bike would need to be out of service for a while.

    On the other hand my riding partner has one of those Terry bikes with a 24" front wheel and we've
    hauled a 24" tire around with us for years for the very reasons you mention. It can be done.

    skip
     
  4. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    how about getting a www.bigcheese.com v-brake adapter, and use dual 20's or cut the bridge and use
    it there also?

    John Foltz wrote:
    > Byron Simms wrote:
    > > I have a 1995 Rans V-rex with the unusual 20" (450mm) front and 24" (520mm) rear wheel
    > > configuration. I have enjoyed the bike thoroughly for several years now, except when it's time
    > > to buy tires and tubes. The 520/24" rear wheel is expecially tough to find wide tires for; the
    > > widest I have seen listed is 1 3/8", sold by Terry Bicycles, for a whopping $40! I am
    > > considering a long distance, cross-country tour next year, and am uneasy about riding
    > > unsupported with narrow, hard-to-find tires. My question is, has anyone else out there with
    > > this rare breed of V-Rex ever had the rear brake bridge cut off and moved forward, so that the
    > > frame would accomodate a 26" wheel/tire? I'm sure that a good frame builder or welder could do
    > > the job without too much damage to my custom paint job, but I just have no idea what something
    > > like this would cost.
    > >
    > Bryon,
    >
    > I have a '97 V-Rex24, probably the last one ever made. Like you, I love the bike but hate buying
    > tires for it. There are a few possibilities.
    >
    > 1. Have an ISO 507 wheel made for it. If you have canti or V type brakes, you won't have to modify
    > anything, the brakes will adjust far enough to use the new rim. This allows you to use the Vee
    > Rubber
    > 24x1.25, AKA 'Fat Girl' (the old 24" Fat Boy.) I don't know if they're available anymore, but
    > there used to be an IRC Metro in
    > 24x2.00, which was nearly indestructible. There is also lots of lower pressure mountain bike tires
    > available for that rim, since the size is used for kids' mountain bikes.
    >
    > 2. You can take the bike to your LBS and have them test-fit a 26" wheel. I know people who have
    > done the conversion, and it *should* fit, although you might be limited in how fat a tire you
    > can use. In this case, you might be able to use your brake bridge for a caliper brake, because
    > it'll be pretty close to the tire.
    >
    > 3. Keep the V-Rex just the way it is and get a Rocket for the tour. The Rocket will use
    > BMX-standard 406 tires front and rear, with a zillion tire choices from stupidly skinny to
    > hugely fat. This option saves your valuable V-Rex the way it is, you only need to pack one
    > spare tire, you get to keep the familiar RANS seat and riding position, and you get a second
    > 'bent! :) I like this option because you also eliminate the problem of finding a durable 451
    > tire for the front.
    >
    > I am currently running a 451 front with a Stelvio 20x1-1/8, and a 507 rear with a Vee Rubber
    > 24x1.25. Over the winter I had the canti studs removed in favor of a disc brake mount. Any
    > wheel size is possible now, from 406 to 559, so long as the wheel has a disc hub. I had a
    > reputable frame builder do the work and the welding was relatively cheap (under $50 for all the
    > work, including adding several cable stops/guides.) It did, however, unavoidably ruin a swath
    > of paint on my stays, which is why I had the welding done *before* the frame got a beautiful
    > new powder coat.
     
  5. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Schwalbe tires has them. Bob

    "Byron Simms" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I have a 1995 Rans V-rex with the unusual 20" (450mm) front and 24"
    (520mm)
    > rear wheel configuration. I have enjoyed the bike thoroughly for several years now, except when
    > it's time to buy tires and tubes. The 520/24" rear wheel is expecially tough to find wide tires
    > for; the widest I have seen listed is 1 3/8", sold by Terry Bicycles, for a whopping $40! I am
    > considering a long distance, cross-country tour next year, and am uneasy about riding unsupported
    > with narrow, hard-to-find tires. My
    question
    > is, has anyone else out there with this rare breed of V-Rex ever had the rear brake bridge cut off
    > and moved forward, so that the frame would accomodate a 26" wheel/tire? I'm sure that a good frame
    > builder or welder could do the job without too much damage to my custom paint job, but I just have
    > no idea what something like this would cost.
    >
    > Anyone?
    >
    > Byron Simms 95' V-Rex Trek R 200
     
  6. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    bentbiker wrote:
    > how about getting a www.bigcheese.com v-brake adapter, and use dual 20's or cut the bridge and use
    > it there also?
    >
    Your link didn't work for me, but if it's what I think it is, it would let him use a canti or
    straight pull brake with a 559 wheel. (Assuming his brake bridge allows him to fit the tire.) Byron,
    check your distance from axle center to the brake bridge. Mine is 13 3/4 inches, which is enough for
    at least a 26x1.5 tire.

    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  7. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    be cheese has two adapters, 1 for canti 1 for v-brake, i'm using the v-brake one now on a "lowered"
    sidewalker scooter. Contact Ed Deaton at foolscrow, he carries them.

    John Foltz wrote:
    > bentbiker wrote:
    >
    >> how about getting a www.bigcheese.com v-brake adapter, and use dual 20's or cut the bridge and
    >> use it there also?
    >>
    > Your link didn't work for me, but if it's what I think it is, it would let him use a canti or
    > straight pull brake with a 559 wheel. (Assuming his brake bridge allows him to fit the tire.)
    > Byron, check your distance from axle center to the brake bridge. Mine is 13 3/4 inches, which is
    > enough for at least a 26x1.5 tire.
     
  8. Byron Simms

    Byron Simms Guest

    That "Big Cheese" link didn't work for me either. I measured the hub center to brake bridge
    distance: 11.875". No cantilever posts on the frame OR fork. I've actually purchased a weird sized
    wide 24" tire (~1.75") years ago, and it was too large in diameter and rubbed on the rear brake
    bridge when inflated. Dang, no go.

    My other option is to tour with my Trek R-200, but that presents another set of challenges. Heavy
    bike, tough to mount fenders and no obvious way to mount pannier racks. I could get a large aero
    seat pack and tow a trailer... The other concern is the rare drivetrain "mid-drive" configuration.
    Does Trek or any dealers maintain a supply of the 5-speed mid-drive cassette?

    Byron

    "John Foltz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > bentbiker wrote:
    > > how about getting a www.bigcheese.com v-brake adapter, and use dual 20's or cut the bridge and
    > > use it there also?
    > >
    > Your link didn't work for me, but if it's what I think it is, it would let him use a canti or
    > straight pull brake with a 559 wheel. (Assuming his brake bridge allows him to fit the tire.)
    > Byron, check your distance from axle center to the brake bridge. Mine is 13 3/4 inches, which is
    > enough for at least a 26x1.5 tire.
    >
    > --
    >
    > John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24 --- _\\/\-%) _________(_)`=()___________________(_)=
    > (_)_____
     
  9. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    http://www.bigcheesebikes.com/etc/lpbmbig.htm Byron Simms wrote:
    > That "Big Cheese" link didn't work for me either. I measured the hub center to brake bridge
    > distance: 11.875". No cantilever posts on the frame OR fork. I've actually purchased a weird sized
    > wide 24" tire (~1.75") years ago, and it was too large in diameter and rubbed on the rear brake
    > bridge when inflated. Dang, no go.
    >
    > My other option is to tour with my Trek R-200, but that presents another set of challenges. Heavy
    > bike, tough to mount fenders and no obvious way to mount pannier racks. I could get a large aero
    > seat pack and tow a trailer... The other concern is the rare drivetrain "mid-drive" configuration.
    > Does Trek or any dealers maintain a supply of the 5-speed mid-drive cassette?
    >
    > Byron
    >
    > "John Foltz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >>bentbiker wrote:
    >>
    >>>how about getting a www.bigcheese.com v-brake adapter, and use dual 20's or cut the bridge and
    >>>use it there also?
    >>>
    >>
    >>Your link didn't work for me, but if it's what I think it is, it would let him use a canti or
    >>straight pull brake with a 559 wheel. (Assuming his brake bridge allows him to fit the tire.)
    >>Byron, check your distance from axle center to the brake bridge. Mine is 13 3/4 inches, which is
    >>enough for at least a 26x1.5 tire.
    >>
    >>--
    >>
    >> John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24 --- _\\/\-%) _________(_)`=()___________________(_)=
    >> (_)_____
    >>
    >
     
  10. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    "Byron Simms" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > That "Big Cheese" link didn't work for me either. I measured the hub center to brake bridge
    > distance: 11.875". No cantilever posts on the frame OR fork. I've actually purchased a weird sized
    > wide 24" tire (~1.75") years ago, and it was too large in diameter and rubbed on the rear brake
    > bridge when inflated. Dang, no go.
    >
    > My other option is to tour with my Trek R-200, but that presents another set of challenges. Heavy
    > bike, tough to mount fenders and no obvious way to mount pannier racks. I could get a large aero
    > seat pack and tow a trailer... The other concern is the rare drivetrain "mid-drive" configuration.
    > Does Trek or any dealers maintain a supply of the 5-speed mid-drive cassette?
    >
    Hmm, that is significantly less space than on my bike. No doubt because the closer clearance was
    required by the caliper brakes. It's impossible to predict from here if you would be able to move
    your brake pads 6.5mm further to accomodate the 507 wheel with your existing brakes, but the Big
    Cheese adapter suggested by bentbiker would probably work for using the 24x1.25 Vee Rubber.

    If you want to consider using the R-200, I suggest you visit this site and contact the writer:
    http://www.tailwinds.org , as he has done extensive riding with his R-200.
     
  11. Recumbentg

    Recumbentg Guest

    > I am currently running a 451 front with a Stelvio 20x1-1/8, and a 507 rear with a Vee Rubber
    > 24x1.25. Over the winter I had the canti studs removed in favor of a disc brake mount. Any
    > wheel size is possible now, from 406 to 559, so long as the wheel has a disc hub. I had a
    > reputable frame builder do the work and the welding was relatively cheap (under $50 for all the
    > work, including adding several cable stops/guides.) It did, however, unavoidably ruin a swath
    > of paint on my stays, which is why I had the welding done *before* the frame got a beautiful
    > new powder coat.

    John, how do you like the disk brakes? I have been thinking (dreaming?) about having this done to my
    Rocket and upgrading to pantour wheels F/R. I Hate the brakes on my Rocket, and I think the bike
    could be sooo much more than it is already.
     
  12. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    [email protected] (recumbentG) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > John, how do you like the disk brakes? I have been thinking (dreaming?) about having this done to
    > my Rocket and upgrading to pantour wheels F/R. I Hate the brakes on my Rocket, and I think the
    > bike could be sooo much more than it is already.
    >
    I have them on my Baron and liked them so much I found I was riding the V-Rex less because the
    V-brakes felt so terrible in comparison. I've obviously installed something wrong because it's a bit
    on the weak side, whereas on the Baron I can skid both wheels with one finger each. Further tweaking
    to follow...
     
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